Welcome to Heavenly Socks Yarns!
Our shop on Lower Main Street
When you love fiber, you want to take it everywhere. Just ask fiber artist Jackie Ottino Graf, who likes to relax and spin at the lake in summer. She will be spinning at the Common Ground Country Fair in September (click to zoom)
Relax with Fiber
We are updating the homepage a few days earlier than usual to give you time to plan for the events happening this month, starting this Monday, August 1, with Belfast's Street Party.
We also included some upcoming fiber events happening in the months of September, October and November. We want you to have the information so you can possibly plan a mini-vacation to attend one (or all!) of these events. We feel sure that you will be inspired and that good memories will be made by attending.
If you are traveling to or through Belfast, or if you have loved ones visiting (who also love fiber), please stop by and see our fabulous selection of Maine yarn. We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and that you already have found some time to just relax with fiber in your hands.
New Fall Yarns
New fall yarns are starting to arrive weekly.
We received Paco, a new super bulky yarn distributed by Cascade Yarns. It is so new that there are no projects put up on Ravelry yet.
This soft, lofty yarn comes in a natural color palette. Each skein is 200 grams, has 152 yards, and knits at 2 stitches per inch on a #15 needle. We are retailing it at our shop for $23.95 a skein. You will need only one skein to knit or crochet a cowl that makes a statement. A weekend-knit pullover can be made in three or four skeins!
We are particularly excited to add a yarn to the machine-washable wool/wool blends section in our shop because it is a popular section! Cotolana is Berroco's new machine-washable wool-and-cotton-blend yarn.
We think it is fabulous because it looks great, and with a shop model here already for you to try on, you can feel how elegant and cozy this yarn is knitted up. Do cozy, elegant, machine-washable and natural fibers all really go together? Yes, in Cotolana! This yarn will serve many projects, from babies to adults, knitting at 4 1/2 stitches to the inch. We retail the 50-gram, 109-yard ball for $7.95.
As we write this newsletter, UPS has just delivered more boxes of fall yarns that we haven't had time to open yet, so come in and see. As always, when we bring something new in, something else has to leave the shop via a deeply discounted sale!
Chuck is a Charlie Brown-style top-down raglan from Lisa Chemery, a European Ravelry designer who has a lovely portfolio of children's designs. Chuck is unisex, and sized to fit kids from 3 months to 8 years. The textured chevron detail around the waist is repeated around the arms. We knit one arm with that detail and one without so you can decide which you prefer.
This pattern is available through us as an in-store Ravelry download for $5.35. We will print it out for you at the shop, and make sure you get an email copy as well.
For the shop model, Liz used Jaggerspun's Super Lamb -- a machine-washable wool made right here in Maine - in worsted weight. Each 50-gram skein contains 124 yards and sells for $9.00. Two skeins made the smallest size, pictured here.
Maine Alpaca Experience
Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm, celebrating their tenth anniversary as a leading alpaca farm, education center and retail gallery in Maine, is pleased to announce their expansion into midcoast Maine. The new venture, with the grand opening scheduled for Friday, July 29, is located on Route 1 at Saturday Cove in Northport, and is called Maine Alpaca Experience.
The Experience Center is home to a visual evolution of the alpaca and alpaca fiber depicted through photographs and displays. There will be virtual tours broadcast directly from Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm. Modern and antique spinning wheels, looms and other fiber-processing equipment will be on display, and instruction will be available for many fiber arts.
The brand-new retail store will be stocked with many popular items such as hats, mittens, scarves and socks, plus a very large selection of elegant high-fashion pieces for women and men. There is also new exclusive baby wear and an entire line of alpaca dog wear.
The Gallery will feature works from Maine wildlife photographer, Pamela Wells and Maine Younity Winery. In addition, there is a two-bedroom, four-season rental property on site available for vacationers.
About Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm
Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm will continue to operate, offering farm tours and shopping in the retail gallery. The farm, located in Unity, Maine, has been in business for ten years offering free tours and shopping year round in their beautiful farm shop. Home to thirty-three high-quality, fiber-producing alpacas. You can also shop their alpaca products online at Experience Alpaca.
Bartlett Yarns Open House
The Bartlett Yarns Annual Open House will take place on August 5-6. The store is open 8:30 am-4:30 pm each day, and there are free mill tours each day from 10 am-4 pm. Come experience a tour rich in history and tradition. Tours generally start on the hour. There are many stairs to climb, so be prepared.
Their vintage mill building, sitting alongside the Higgins Stream in Harmony, Maine, holds the last remaining working spinning mule in the United States. Started in 1821, Bartlett Yarns, Inc. was founded by Ozias Bartlett and continues today, with the Rice family. The original spinnery was first powered by an undershot water wheel that was replaced by a water turbine and then converted to electricity.
The principle of the mule is to duplicate the motion of a hand spinner. In mule spinning, a carriage contains a row of bobbins, moves back and forth, simultaneously drawing and spinning a six-foot length of carded roving attached to each bobbin. At Bartlett Yarns, they spin 240 bobbins at a time!
Fiber College (Save the Date)
Fiber College of Maine is celebrating its ten-year anniversary on September 7-11. This is an annual fiber festival that celebrates the sharing of fiber arts in all forms. Each year, the week after Labor Day, fiber artists, crafters and students gather together for a weekend of casual fiber classes, time with friends, demonstrations, live animals and good food. Hosted by Searsport Shores Ocean Park and Campground, Searsport, Maine.
This year, there is a gamut of nearly seventy textile and fiber classes varying in length from two hours to two days: Knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidery, tatting, dyeing, surface design, felting, rug hooking, spinning, book binding, chainmail, woodworking and papier-mâché.
Friday Fiber Fiesta and Makers' Market 5:30-7:30 pm. The Shopper's Boulevard will be open late and the park will be filled with the sounds of music, food vendors and unique shopping opportunities. There will be a book signing and directors' screening of the documentary Do It Your Way!, a film about connections quilts make between the hearts, homes and histories of women from two very different worlds. Admission is free for everyone Friday night. $10 vendor tables are also available to artists and suppliers.
Looking specifically for knitting classes? Throughout the weekend you can learn to knit Two Socks at a Time, Expert Finishing Techniques, Beaded Knitting, Advanced Colorwork Techniques, Introduction to Double Knits and Rug Knitting.
A few of the notable names you'll meet at Fiber College 2016:
Knitting Artist and Philosopher Katharine Cobey
Ethnic Knitting Specialist Donna Druchunas
Wooden Flute Maker Hawk Henries
Basket Maker Tina Puckett
Rug Hooking and Felting Diva Susie Stephenson
Weaving and Color Specialist Daryl Lancaster
Have yarn you'd like to modify? Saturday and Sunday find Ellen Mason in the Mentored Dye Tent for help making your masterpiece without all of the usual setup needed for dyeing yarns. Ellen's been making colors sing for over thirty years and is happy to help advise you on your projects.
Wednesday Night Dinner will be a Wabanaki Cultural Celebration: Wood-fired breads and other traditional Maine Indian specialties, both meat and vegetarian, will be on the menu. Experience the music and beautiful stories as told by Hawk Henries.
Common Ground Country Fair (Save the Date)
Don't forget the Common Ground Country Fair, happening September 23-25 in Unity, Maine. You will always find plenty of fiber, fiber animals and fiber demonstrations at the Fiber Marketplace, the Fleece Tent and the Wednesday Spinners Tent.
KnitMaine-ia 2016 (Save the Date)
KnitMaine-ia 2016 is October 1 at 2 pm at the Belfast Boathouse! The theme is The Four Seasons. All knit and crochet submissions are welcome and will be returned immediately after the show.
In last month's fundraiser, Love that Bay raised $765 for Friends of Penobscot Bay and $200 seed money for KnitMaine-ia.
For more information, find them on Facebook, contact Sara at 978-325-0045, or Jillian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gathering (Save the Date)
The Gathering, sponsored by Northeast Handspinners Association (NHA), is a biennial weekend spinning retreat that features the best in spinning classes with respected teachers from all over the US and Canada, and, this year, will be held on November 4-6 at Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George, New York. Presenters will include Patsy Zawistoski, Beth Smith, Jillian Moreno Fiberensemble, Alana Wilcox, Donna Kay, Cal Patch and Jane Woodhouse. Spin-ins on Friday and Saturday nights, and vendors for your shopping fun, including Battenkill Fibers and Spinning Mill, Adele Michelsen, Port Fiber/Casey Ryder, Savage Heart Farm/Peggy Allen, The Spinning Studio/Robin Russo and A Touch of Twist. For information about the Gathering and classes offered, visit NHA.
The NHA is a pan-New England organization for the promotion and education of the art and craft of handspinning. NHA provides a communications network for individuals and groups, and gives handspinners the opportunity to share, learn, educate, compete and cooperate on a regional basis. NHA sponsors and supports events to bring spinners from the Northeastern states together, including workshops, open houses, skein contests, grants to guilds and fairs, and scholarships.
Street Party Poster 2016 (courtesy of Our Town Belfast)
Belfast Street Party
The 8th Annual Our Town Belfast Street Party will take place on Monday, August 1 (or the next sunny day), from 5-10:30 pm, on High and Church streets in downtown Belfast, from Main Street to the American Legion Hall. DJs Erik Klausmeyer (5-7:10 pm, and following the live music), Z Lite and live act Motor Booty Affair will keep the dance party going throughout the night.
Admission is free, with tickets sold for activities like the climbing wall, bucking bronco, bungee jump, and (new this year) person-sized hamster ball course. Wristbands are available for unlimited use of the bounce houses and rat race in the brand new children's area on Church Street, and a $20 wristband buys access to the entire slate of rides and games. The new-in-2015 Church Street area, dedicated for kid-specific fun, will feature DJ Z Lite spinning tunes and keeping the younger crowd going.
The live music begins at 7:30 pm with Motor Booty Affair (a high-energy band with a funky disco style, retro moves and hair as loud as their music) performing for two hours, and then DJ Erik will return to finish out the dance party till 10:30 pm.
The Street Party also includes food from local vendors, tons of activities for kids and adults, games, and giveaways by local businesses and nonprofits, as well as an adult beverage area hosted by Darby's Restaurant.
For more information, visit Our Town Belfast or phone 207-218-1158.
Waterfall Arts Classes and Workshops
August 1-5: Torchwork All Levels, led by Marta Bernbaum (at Montville location).
August 2-4: Shawn Brewer teaches kids age 8 to 15 how to make and print funky, cool designs for clothing and more.
August 6, 10 am-noon: Sequencing workshop with Marta Bernbaum. The workshop will stimulate your creative energy with hands-on painting that removes judgment and promotes process.
August 6, 10 am-noon: Art Together Mornings. The theme for this adult-and-child activity is You Can Draw! Bridget Matros delivers foolproof methods to "I can't draw" adults that teach them to sketch, and helps kids take their drawing skills to the next level. It's stress-free and fun -- the way drawing should be.
August 8, 10, 11 and 12: Kris Engman offers four days of Plein Air Painting on focusing on color theory and how to make it work outdoors. Students can take one, two, three or all four days with daily critiques.
August 16 and 18, 5:30-7:30 pm: Ceramic artist Linda Stec holds a Raku class, where students can hand-build or throw clay on a wheel. The pieces will be completed at a Raku Firing Party on August 26.
Waterfall Arts is located at 256 High St. in Belfast. Gallery and office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information, stop by, visit Waterfall Arts or phone 207-338-2222.
Maria Gianferrari, author of Coyote Moon
The Belfast Free Library welcomes children's author Maria Gianferrari, author and biologist Geri Vistein, and composer and musician Elizabeth Starr for an evening presentation, Celebrating Coyote in Story and Song. The authors will share their experiences with coyotes and read from their books. Elizabeth Starr will accompany the authors with original coyote music. Readers of all ages are welcome at this free event on Wednesday, August 3 from 6:30-8 pm. Books will be offered for sale.
Maria Gianferrari will present her acclaimed picture book Coyote Moon. The book's "quietly poetic text and show-stopping artwork create a tense account of a coyote's nocturnal search for food" (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review).
Geri Vistein, a carnivore conservation biologist who speaks extensively about coyote-human interactions, will present her "sensitive, passionate story told from an intriguing point of view" (Kirkus Reviews). I Am Coyote, published by Maine's Tilbury House, follows a young coyote on a 500-mile odyssey from Ontario to Maine. Readers interested in the lives of coyotes in the state can also explore Geri Vistein's educational website, Coyote Lives in Maine.
Maine composer, songwriter and Celtic musician Elizabeth Starr has written a number of original coyote songs. Coyotes, sometimes referred to as the songdogs, will be celebrated by Starr in conjunction with the exploration of Gianferrari and Vistein's books.
For more information about this program, please call the Library at 207-338-3884, ext.10; more events are shown on the Library Programs page.
Vicky Andres and Max McFarland (jenny Dondero photo)
Belfast Summer Nights
Ongoing outdoor summer music series in downtown Belfast every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Free/donations. Bring your folding chairs and dancing shoes!
August 4, Beaver Street: Vicky Andres and Max McFarland, People of Earth
August 11, Beaver Street: The Willy Kelly Band, The Rugged
August 18, Big Tent -- Steamboat Landing Park: Austin Bergstrom, Wits End Brass Band
August 25, Steamboat Landing Park: Mr Moon, Leaky Boot Jug Band
For more information, find them on Facebook.
JEMS, L to R: Ed Howe, Matthew Kenney, Jamie Oshima, Stuart Kenney
JEMS at Belfast Flying Shoes
Join Belfast Flying Shoes on Friday, August 5 for an evening of contra dancing at American Legion Post #43, 143 Church St. in Belfast. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with a community dance called by Chrissy Fowler. The contra dance begins at 8 pm and runs till around 11 pm.
This month's caller is Nils Fredland. Nils is well known in the traditional music and dance world as a caller and trombonist with the band Elixir. A caller since 2000, he draws on a broad repertoire of dances, both old and new. His style is inclusive, crystal clear and unfailingly cheerful.
Sharing the Flying Shoes stage with Nils will be JEMS, which delivers an authentic New England sound with innovative contemporary elements. Whitefield, Maine-based fiddle wizard Ed Howe, a longtime member of the duo Perpetual e-Motion, is renowned for the intensity and nuance of his playing. Bassist, banjo player, teacher and dance host Stuart Kenney, of Greenfield, Mass., is a former 13-year member of the band Wild Asparagus. Multi-instrumentalist Jamie Oshima, of Whitefield, Maine, and percussionist Matthew Kenney, of Greenfield, Mass., enliven the traditional repertoire with their youthful energy and sparkling musicianship. Sound provided by Ed Howe.
The First Church in Belfast, UCC's new brick walk and steps (Summer 2016)
First Church Dedication Sunday
Join in on August 7 as The First Church in Belfast celebrates the completion of their new front deck and steps.
Dedication Sunday Schedule
10 am: Sunday Worship. Anyone interested in singing with their Celebration Choir may contact the church office at 207-338-2282 for rehearsal times; all are welcome.
Following worship: All Church Picture on front steps.
11:30 am: Dedication Ceremony.
Noon: Lunch. $10.00/person hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, coleslaw, beverage and dessert, prepared by Rollie's Catering. Please RSVP the church office at 207-338-2282 by July 31.
Music: Presenting the band Strait Up, featuring a fun, easy-listening mix of '70s, '80s and '90s rock with a twist of soul.
The First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ, is located at 104 Church St. in Belfast. They are an open and affirming congregation. All are welcome.
Author Monica Wood
Maine Writer Monica Wood
The Belfast Free Library is excited to announce that the award winning author Monica Wood will be speaking as part of the Maine Writers Talk About ... series on Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30 pm. Monica will read from and discuss her much-acclaimed new novel, The One-in-a-Million Boy.
Monica Wood is the author of When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine, a New England bestseller and winner of the May Sarton Memoir Award and the Maine Literary Award. She is also the author of the novel Any Bitter Thing, a Book Sense Top Ten pick.
The Maine Writers Talk About ... series, made possible with support from the Friends of the Belfast Free Library, is free and open to the public. The series continues on Tuesday, August 30 with Jim Haskell, author of Two Tents: Twenty-one Years of Discovery on the Appalachian Trail, who will give a slide talk about his account of hiking the Appalachian Trail.
For more information, please call the Library at 207-338-3884, ext.10; more events are shown on the Library Programs page.
Troy, midcoast Maine's friendly UPS man
Our Shipping Policy
Even though our Web site is not designed with a shopping cart, we will happily ship anything to you.
At this time, we only ask for the exact cost of the shipping; there is no handling charge.
By the way, the man in the photo is our well-loved UPS deliveryman. He is always smiling and happy, even when hauling heavy boxes down the stairs. (He must be a secret wannabe knitter.)
Inside our shop, with yarn lovers examining a tempting skein.